Thursday, October 25, 2012

Post-Teaching Itinerary

My job ends on Halloween, as I might have mentioned before. But I don't leave Korea until November 30th; I'm giving myself a month of free time in the Land of the Morning Calm to chill out, see the sights, and just generally be a lazy bum in a country where liquor runs about $1 US a bottle.

So far my plans include going to Gwangju, Jeonju (bibimbap!!) Busan, the Dragon Hill Spa in Yongsan, the comfort women protests in Seoul, and a weekend trip to Jusanji (I think that's the name) Lake with my Korean friend Jenny. There's the foreigner Thanksgiving get-together at a pension my friend Leah wants to pull together as well, and perhaps a hike up Seoraksan.

Since I'm nominally participating in NaNoWriMo this year, all of this will have to be squeezed around me cranking out 50,000 words of young adult fantasy bullshit that will hopefully become something good.

I saw a great quote on Pinterest (I'm a girl, I have to, it's part of the new rules of the girls' club) which, in a stereotypically over-dramatic fashion, is, like, my life, you guys!! OMG!!!

Only, pretend that it says "goodbye" and not "goddbye."

I like to imagine a future where all of my awesome friends from Korea are still my awesome friends thirty years from now. I know that's not realistic, but, well, hope is the greatest of things and all that jazz. Coping with the fact that I will never see many of them face-to-face after I catch that plane in Incheon is already tough enough.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Last Multimedia Monday (On Friday): Singin' in the Rain

I finish my job at the end of this month, which means I'll no longer be on the hunt for supplementary videos to show. (I've peeked ahead in the textbook: not very video-friendly topics.)

So I leave you with this, instead.

My lowest level classes have been watching Robots. There's a scene that is most obviously a nod to the Golden Age of Hollywood classic (and one of my all-time favorite movies), Singin' in the Rain.

That's the only footage I could find, sorry.

Anyway, I found the scene from Singin' in the Rain and downloaded it, unsure if I would show it in class or not. In two classes so far I've decided to screen it. Before that, I asked the students if they remembered the scene and what happened. Once I got an answer to the effect of "Fender sings!" or "Fender dances!" or whatever, I rolled the Gene Kelly video.

All of my kids picked up on it as soon as they heard the musical cue, and also thoroughly enjoyed Gene Kelly's goofy antics (and masterful dancing) in the water. (Though one boy did complain: "Ugh! So dirty!") They don't make 'em like Gene anymore.

I could see using the song in a present prefect versus present simple lesson, or just showing the video to kill some time. Either way, let Gene Kelly play out your Friday evening:

Or for a lesson on comparisons, you could also show the Volkswagen Golf commercial from a few years ago:

Friday, October 12, 2012


Breaking my radio silence (I think I avoid updating because it reminds me of how little time I have left) to share this adorable student work.

Right now they're watching School of Rock, in which a very minor subplot revolves around the growth and development of Tomika, the black girl with an amazing singing voice and no self-confidence.
I think Tomika is very good singing voice. She is can sing. And she is not fat. She is cute. Dewey is true. Maybe, they will love her singing voice.
This student is new, so obviously I won't have her long enough to get to know her better. Sadface.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Obligatory Korean Tourist Spot #8: Suwon Fortress

You can take a bus from Suwon station to the fortress (and the palace), but it was such a nice day (and since I had forgotten which exit from the station put you in the right bus direction) I walked it. I also got English bombed by an ajosshi drinking makgeolli straight from the bottle at 2 in the afternoon. I HAD MAD RESPECT FOR YOUR RAMPANT ALCOHOLISM UNTIL YOU TRIED TO HOLD MY HAND, MR. AJOSSHI.

Because I walked, I also came upon the fortress by a kind of weird side way instead of from the "entrance." So you get a sideways chronological tour instead of a normal ways achronological tour.

The first of many, many stairs to be climbed, because it's a fortress and so naturally it's on a hill.

Nice view, though.

All along the watchtower...

The fortress walls enclose a lot of greenery.

At this particular pavilion I had a nice sit and read for a while. Despite the innumerable hordes of people there, I was alone for quite some time, maybe half an hour? It was a dead end off the main fortress "trail" so that's probably why. I pretended I was the only person in the fortress and tore through The Poisonwood Bible.

Close up of the sign on the pavilion.

After the pavilion I wandered down the wall on the other side of the hill and nosed around the palace.

Traditional Chuseok game that's kind of the opposite of a seesaw. You jump and try to launch your partner up in the air. Not pictured: doofy foreigners attempting it as well.

The wishing tree! I left a wish (in Korean!) tied on it as well.

My wish. It's secret, though! Otherwise it won't come true. (Not a Korean thing; that's my own superstition.)

Decorative roof tile.

Lots of bits of the palace seemed to be under (re)construction, as they were not painted or not fully painted:

I'm sorry Korea, but I kind of prefer your architecture without the salmon-colored walls. =/

The history behind this particular fortress and palace is that it was built to commemorate a dead king who was sentenced to death because his father thought he would make a terrible heir. The dead king's son (somehow this guy managed to reproduce despite vague "mental illness," I guess) had the palace built to commemorate his father.

How was the dead king killed? Buried in a rice chest.

I spied this going on in the corner of the main courtyard:

"Hm, what are they doing? Let's saunter over to look! There's an informative sign!"

"This looks fun!"



Nightmare fuel!

I'm trying to make the most of my remaining time here. This weekend is a fireworks festival over the Han, which I plan to attend with a few friends. At some point, though, a weekend will have to be devoted to packing (and shipping home what I can). Dislike.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Things I Won't Miss

I'm just trying to get myself in the mindset to be ready to get out of Korea and go back home. To find something wrong with my current setup, I really have to really nitpick.

So far, I've only come up with one thing I won't miss: living in a second floor apartment off one of the busiest intersections in Uijeongbu. It is nothing but a ceaseless parade of cars, obnoxious delivery motorbikes, and the not unoccasional drunk costumer customer  from the hof across the street. My previous apartments were on much higher floors and on much smaller streets, and about as quiet as my neighborhood in the states.

Oh wait, two things: my neighbors and their 24/7 love affair with television.

In other news, it's now October. My last month on the job. :(